Afternoon Delight - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Afternoon Delight Reviews

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½ August 16, 2016
If you're a bored, upper-middle class, suburban housewife with a non-existent sex life what do you do? According to some accounts that we hear about in the news, you turn to Vicodin or Oxy to get you through the day. In AFTERNOON DELIGHT, housewife Rachel finds a sex worker and brings her home to "rehabilitate" the young woman. If you think popping pills would be a safer choice, I would agree after watching this film.

Rachel (Kathryn Hahn, whom audiences may recognise from the TV shows PARKS & RECREATION and GIRLS) and husband Jeff (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER's Josh Radnor) are your typical, upscale, 30-something couple living in suburban Los Angeles. They are both cultural Jews. Rachel reluctantly volunteers at the local Jewish Community Center's numerous fundraising events. Jeff eats bagels with cream cheese schmears. While Rachel's life consists of running from the JCC to the supermarket to her narcissistic therapist (comically played by GLEE's Jane Lynch), Jeff is busy working on his next successful smartphone app venture. Rachel is miserable inside. She and Jeff have been in a sexual dry spell for six months but it's not because Jeff hasn't tried. Rachel just isn't in the mood.

One day, her best friend suggests Rachel and Jeff go to a local strip club to spice up their sex life. They go and Jeff decides to buy Rachel a lap dance from McKenna, an exotic dancer who works there. (Yes, Jeff buys one for Rachel, not the other way around.)

Up to that point, the film is a comedy but then the script takes a detour and becomes a morality tale. The next morning Rachel seeks out McKenna, not to learn a few tricks of the trade from her, but rather to "save" her. Rachel, who gave up her a career in public relations that she didn't like anyway, feels that she can find meaning in life if she plays Richard Gere to McKenna's Julia Roberts. Rachel hires McKenna as her 5-year-old child's live-in nanny and, of course, Jeff approves as do all of Jeff's male friends. They don't know McKenna is a prostitute but they do notice that she's ultra-hot.

Predictably, such a great idea has to have a bad outcome. One evening with the girls, Rachel's real feelings about her life and her relationships with her girlfriends bubble up to the surface and she lets go. Meanwhile, Jeff hosts a poker night with the guys at home while McKenna is there. There are disasters and then there is this evening. By the time the sun rises in the morning, more than one marriage and a few friendships in this bedroom community have been blown to bits. In the aftermath, Rachel finally decides to put a voice to her feelings. She tells Jeff that she wants to have some afternoon delight, and he happily obliges. And they live happily ever after while McKenna goes back to being a "full service sex worker" in West Hollywood. Couldn't there have been a less destructive way for Rachel to get her groove back?

AFTERNOON DELIGHT won the Best Director award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Director Jill Soloway was one of the writers and producers of TV's SIX FEET UNDER, a show that deftly balanced the comedy of everyday life with the darkness that comes from dealing with death. This film, too, has both comedic and dark elements, but while critics have praised the Soloway for this bold effort, audiences haven't been so enamoured. Perhaps they see themselves in Rachel and Jeff. For me, I would have liked the film more if it would have stayed in the comedy realm.
½ July 9, 2016
Slow movie that's good for a slow afternoon.
More depressing and sad than funny.
June 14, 2016
well crafted indy comedy that proves oil n water or soccer moms & hookers don't mix
½ April 24, 2016
about as dull as it gets
January 4, 2016
Blech. So depressing. Awful characters, and a very boring story. Don't waste your time!
January 3, 2016
January 2013 at Sundance
November 8, 2015
good romantic movie with the gf lady for the night wifey
Super Reviewer
July 22, 2015
Wasn't as good as I hoped, but still not bad movie. I actually thought it would hit the fan way worse than it did!
Interesting idea for a movie dealing with a marriage gone stale and the fascination caused by a young striper met in a vain attempt to spice things up. Clearly moving her into the house was never going to end up well for anyone!
I did like how it blurs a little who is actually at fault.
Juno Temple is great, I am liking nearly everything I see her in. Maybe my expectations for this were a little higher based on that, but still worth a look.
June 7, 2015
I avoided this movie when it came out because of the way in which it was advertised / marketed. It looked like a faux-"naughty" sex comedy with a suitably lame title. Jill Soloway's film is occasionally quite funny, but never at the expense of what is a potent examination of woman desperately trying to find not only a meaningful connection to her husband, child and life -- but to gain insight into herself. Kathryn Hahn can always be counted on to deliver impressive performances in roles that are far beneath her talent. In this film she delivers a brave, uncomfortable and intimately realistic performance that rivals any of the actresses who have received Academy Awards in the last five years. The only one of those I can think of that might have carried more power was Cate Blanchette in BLUE JASMINE. In addition to Hahn's remarkable performance is the fact that Jill Soloway's film is so well executed that she is able to create something both entertaining and undeniably potent examination that goes far deeper than expected. It is refreshing to see an film artist who can use comedy to achieve so much. And, so very sad it is failing to connect with the audience who would value it. If you're looking for female-perspective potty humor popcorn movie with trite resolutions -- you should stick to the latest Melissa McCarthy vehicle or the upcoming Amy Schumer flick -- because this film is not for you.
½ April 2, 2015
The female leads were what kept me watching this film about rich pretty people problems.
March 1, 2015
this movie made me feel uncomfortable for some reason.
February 28, 2015
Kathryn Hahn is fantastic in this movie but after a bright start it turns into a pretty average relationship melodrama.
½ January 11, 2015
This movie surprised the hell out of me. The film has its problems, but it's earnestness and searching for honesty in human character keeps it from falling apart. Hahn and Radnor give great performances and make this story more than it seems to be on paper. I admire Soloway for bringing this kind of story to screen and applying some great filmmaking craft to it.
January 8, 2015
Let me begin by stating I believe I am nowhere near the target demographic for this movie as I am neither female nor Jewish. That being said I really hated this movie. It gets a 2nd star only for both Juno Temple (who's obviously a freak) and Kathryn Hahn both going topless and for the fact that the janitor from Breakfast Club appears as one of the hooker's clients. There's actually some funny women in this movie but a female-centric comedy directed by a female is not really something that tends to make me laugh.
½ December 11, 2014
Another hollywood jewish stab at the traditional American family. A self-centered housewife adopts a parasitic stripper/hooker to vicariously explore every modern feminist's dream: a hedonistic life with comprised of endless freedom coupled with zero consequences.
November 5, 2014
I thought it was better. But it was a boring movie.
October 13, 2014
Funny and heartbreaking and emotionally compelling, Afternoon Delight is a film about the hopes and dreams of marriage, and how sometimes those dreams fall apart. With a great first attempt from writer/director Jill Soloway, the film explores the intricacies of marriage in a way that feels genuine, if not very profound. Kathryn Hahn delivers a performance that proves she's a powerful on-screen presence, and Juno Temple continues to impress with this film. I liked seeing Josh Radnor in a role where he wasn't necessarily the "good guy". The entire cast is great.
October 5, 2014
Maybe category - directed by the same woman that did Amazon's Transparent
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2014
Kathryn Hahn and June Temple's performances are the best reasons to watch this film. They shine here. They have a great on screen chemistry. It is great seeing Hahn play a leading role in a film. The film did surprise me. I thought it was well written and has some great dialog.

I thought there was some solid supporting work by Jane Lynch, Jessica St. Clair, and Michaela Watkins. The weak link in my opinion was Josh Radnor. I didn't think he had a good chemistry with Hahn. I think another actor in that role would have done a better job. I keep thinking someone like Jason Bateman or Zach Braff would have done better.

I still recommend this film, especially cause of June Temple and Kathryn Hahn's performances.
½ September 21, 2014
I've seen Kathryn Hahn in many films always playing a secondary role as the funny female but, untilm now, not as the star. I think she clearly did not waste this opportunity to catapult herself on to bigger roles now. She was really good in this. The story is cool and interesting too. Rent-a-Quack, Jane Lynch should take a leaf out of Hahns book and try a different type of role every now and then.
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